The surviving installments of the master satirist's final series, on NBC, for Blue Bonnet Margarine and Tetley Tea through 1947 and Ford Motor Company in 1948-49. Including the "Allen's Alley" for which he's remembered best---with announcer Kenny Delmar as Senator Claghorn, Parker Fennelly as Titus Moody, Minerva Pious as Mrs. Nussbaum, and Peter Donald as Ajax Cassidy, with Alan Reed as Falstaff Openshaw in the first several installments. Among Allen's classics here include the famous "King for a Day" climax to the Allen-Benny "feud," satires of "Oklahoma!" ("Picadilly") and "HMS Pinafore" ("Brooklyn Pinafore," featuring then-Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher), the immortal "Mr. and Mrs. Breakfast Show" satire with Tallulah Bankhead (in two different versions, yet) and several jabs at the giveaway shows that were the bane of his radio existence, including his classic "Break the Contestant" sketch. There are some who say much of his topical humour hasn't dated well, but you'll never think so while you listen. And can you think of a better way to end a long and distinguished run as an old-time radio host than with Henry Morgan and Jack Benny as his guests?
"The echo of forgotten laughter" is what Fred Allen thought the radio comedian had to show for all the years of work, according to the way he ended his first memoir, "Treadmill to Oblivion." Here's the rest of the evidence that proves he was wrong for once. The laughter is never forgotten. Especially in Fred Allen's hands.
September 22, 2016 Subject:
Fred Allen is really, really good
and I really love his jokes. He's hilarious to me. The review below me gives a lot of detail about the man I did not know about such as he was the "lowest paid" (at a thousand a week! During that time?? ) sure it's not "low pay" but in comparison to other celebrities maybe.
IF so maybe the other people were jealous of his genius that's why they underpaid him. I don't know but in my opinion his show is the smartest and Ive always found myself cracking up at his way, way off the wall ad libs
his weird sketches are out of this world. I feel badly I missed hearing his show when it was new. We in this generation got cheated out of all of the good things
Thanks to the guy who uploaded these, because these are great.
February 22, 2014 Subject:
Fred Allen a tormented wit.
Fred Allen was a true wit of his time. From the beginning of his radio career he was beset with problems, hitting him from all directions. He was one stages most talented wits when he was lured onto radio in 1932. Allen was the under-paid and over-worked performers of his time. On the Linit Bath Revue, his first sponsor was too cheap to allow Fred to have an outside writer. Therefore, Fred had to do it all,create, write & edit his show every week. All of which Linit paid him: $1000.00 a week. Fred worked 7 days a week, sometimes, most times writing & rewriting the final scripts until 4a.m. in the morning, just before the final rehearsal, before air time. He never made the kind of money his long time vaudeville friend Jack Benny did. Fred never got the type on monetary support from all of his sponsors. All he got from them was guff & criticism. Same too with the networks he worked for and from the advertising agencies who thought the knew what the public wanted. Fred was the only man who knew, & he proved his point week in and week out, when he won the constant battles with the networks, agencies, & the sponsors. Please enjoy these shows, from the 1943 Peabody Award Winner, Fred Allen.